As you may have heard, the Schmidt Center, commonly referred to as Camp Schmidt, in Prince George’s County, is in danger of being cut out of the budget next school year. This budget was proposed by Superintendent Hite, approved by the school board, and is currently in the hands of the Prince George’s County Council. The Schmidt Center is a close partner of AFF, and as a partner outdoor education organization, we are deeply concerned about the ramifications of their closure for the students of Prince George’s County and the precedent this sets for outdoor education throughout the state of Maryland. There has recently been a groundswell of media attention being given to this situation, so we hold out hope that with enough attention and concern, the tides can be reversed.
Yesterday, a blog entry in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Bay Daily gave a nice synopsis of the state of EE in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay region. (It includes a reference to NOAA B-WET being cut out of the federal budget most recently passed in the House of Representatives. NOAA B-WET has for upwards of a decade been a supporter of educational programming at AFF.) Please read the blog entry and get informed about what is happening.
Then, join the Save Camp Schmidt group on Facebook to find out who the county council members are and how to contact them. There is also a sample letter to write which is wonderfully worded. All letters and phone calls must be received by March 15 in advance of the County Council’s meeting to determine the fate of the PGCPS budget and the Schmidt Center.